Comments about ‘Holdout juror describes 'wonderful, difficult' experience in Novell-Microsoft trial’

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Published: Saturday, Dec. 17 2011 4:00 p.m. MST

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Washington, DC

It seems to me the dissenting juror seems to be saying that Microsoft was guilty, but simply differed on whether there should be a significant penalty. He should have saved that for the penalty phase of the trial - not whether Microsoft was guilty or not. It seems to me that the juror was just trying to be a publicity seeking contrarian, and not just decide the matter at hand.

Microsoft has clearly abused it's monopoly, and it has caused a great deal of harm to the development of computer systems. Without Microsoft, innovations such as the netbook, iPad, and Tivo would have happened years earlier.

The Utah State legislature needs to take a stand, and forbid the use of Windows unless absolutely necessary. There are other options out there that will work just as well or better, and it would take a law like this to force IT to actually consider a better option.

Finally, here a great money-saving tip. When you purchase a computer, reject the windows license, and install Linux instead. Then, return your Windows certificates to the manufacturer, and get your "Windows Refund." By contract, they will have to refund your money.

Port Alice, B.C.


You are confusing criminal and civil law. The hold out appeared to be saying that Novell had failed to prove a couple of essential elements. He was right.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The desnews did a terrific job reporting this story. The photos were good too. I sort of agree with the hold out juror. Just because he was in the minority does not make him a "contrarian". He had a valid point. As a reluctant user of WordPerfect at the time, I was surprised Novell paid such an outrageous price for Wordperfect. It was not a good product and who is to say that Novell would have billions?

Holladay, UT

It is simply unbelievable that one guy, a 21 y/o no less, was able to thwart justice here. It seems highly likely that the other jurors tried to persuade this guy until they were blue in the face, then they finally gave up. This one guy prevented more than $1B in reparations from changing hands, forcing another prolonged expensive trial. Novell was clearly wronged and Microsoft has gotten away with plenty before. Does anyone remember the big showdown of the 90s where Apply tried to sue about Microsoft's use of pulldown menus -- clearly an Apple innovation -- and lost?

No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT

I would be a bit less willing to do an interview if I was the single person standing in the way of the Novell litigation engine in their endless effort to sue everyone in the software industry. Did Novell fail to support their tort or were the other jurors loyal to the home team?

@ JKR: Apple's suit against Microsoft over 'look and feel', which many industry people believe they would have won, was settled out of court. Microsoft agreed to buy Apple stock, which helped Apple to survive several bad business decisions they had recently made. Microsoft benefited by being allowed to continue their course of development for Windows and by retaining a small but lucrative market for their Macintosh compatible products.

@ rhappahannock: Hating Microsoft is like hating gravity. If tomorrow there were no Microsoft software the world would face a global economic crisis beyond comprehension.


Really? The "Utah Legislature needs to take a stand and forbid Windows"? Don't give them any ideas!
I think this jurors age isn't an issue. He is of legal voting age. His opinion matters as much as anyone on the jury.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: JKR | 8:12 p.m. Dec. 17, 2011
"It is simply unbelievable that one guy, a 21 y/o no less, was able to thwart justice here"

In what way did this juror "thwart justice"? Did you expect him to abandon his beliefs and bow to the will of the majority?

I wouldn't put 21-year olds down. They are old enough to die for their country.

Provo, UT

"endless effort to sue everyone in the software industry"? Not a chance. Other than the SCO case, in which SCO was the instigator, this is pretty much Novell's only major litigation ever. Get your facts straight.

During 1993-1998, Microsoft engaged in all kinds of shady behavior to illegally use its operating system monopoly to take down competitors in a score of other markets; if our government were doing a halfway decent job of enforcing its antitrust laws they definitely would have been broken up by 1998.

That we don't know how consumers would have acted if the world had been different has zero relevance to the case here. Nothing about counterfactual hypotheses can ever be totally proven, and contrary to Mr. Alvey's claims, Novell had no obligation to produce such an impossible proof.

Novell had a solid case here, and the one holdout juror's stubbornness and refusal to adhere to the standards of evidence in civil cases have led to a perversion of justice. Hopefully the case will get a reasonable jury when it's appealed.

Vancouver, WA

Have you heard of the "CSI effect" on juries? Looks like we can call this the "Stevens-Heneger College of Criminal Justice effect" in this case for our good friend from Magna.

Taylorsville, UT

Can't figure out how they convinced the other 11 jurors to favor Novell. Every thing about the case reported by the news media indicated Novell was trying to scam Microsoft to steal MS propriety intellectual property.

Many time what is not said in a trial is just as important as what is said. Evidence is not always documented on a form and many times withheld from the court and a jury.

We should thank this juror for being true to their-self and their sense of right and wrong and intent of both corporations which lawyers tend to muddle with irrelevant dribble.

I agree with how it all turned out and finally ending this battle of CEO's and corporations vs. citizens rights of proprietary intellect. And that is what this was all about, corporate america vs american citizen. This was a victory for the individuals in business with independent and private companies.


WordPerfect is a far superior program, compared to MS Word. This is what is sad.

Clearfield, UT

Dissapointing. My sympathies are with Novell.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

When eleven people can see that Microsoft used its power to destroy a competing program, then the "facts" clearly show that Microsoft needs to pay. I'm sure that Microsoft counted on the "Perry Mason" syndrome where at least one juror would not find them guilty unless they broke down and confessed - on the stand.

No matter how old a juror is, no matter what his job is, no matter where he lives, he is still responsible to look at the evidence and reach a conclusion based on the facts presented, not on his loyalty to Bill Gates, to Donald Duck, or to Santa.

If the facts presented showed that Microsoft had violated the law, then the jury is duty bound to vote "guilty".

There will be another trial. There will be another jury. Now that the lawyers know why one juror held out, they will be better prepared to ask questions of the witnesses to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Microsoft violated the law.

Still Blue after all these years
Kaysville, UT

I think the kid got enthralled with Bill Gates. And I believe he really enjoyed being the lone dissenter and preventing the other 11 from their decision.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Still Blue after all these years
"preventing the other 11 from their decision"

That's an illogical argument. In what way did this juror prevent the other 11 jurors from their decision? Are you suggesting that his opinion was not valid, or are you suggesting that he should have abandoned his integrity and gone alone with the herd instinct?


Just sayin. More times than not, when one person out of 12 sees something differently than the other 11, that one person is wrong.

I just hope this dude isn't thumping his chest that he put his name on Bill Gate's map by being stubborn.

Don't Feed the Trolls
Salt Lake City, UT

Someone's desire for the spotlight to show off his associates degree cost Novell stockholders $86.7 million per minute-of-fame.

Alpine, UT

Wow - all I can say is Wow. It is so obvious that an egomaniac has stopped justice from being served. It is obvious that MS did in fact change windows to stop Wordperfect from being able to continue on. There are a few comments on here that are so out of touch with reality - like Word being better than WP at the time. Bill Gates was obsessed with the competition and how to squash them - he even gave out Word free for a long time to stop WP. If Bill Gates and others read this then know that you will not escape justice in the long run. No amount of charity work will stop you or anyone from having adversely effected the lives of thousands who worked for WP and Novell. One egomaniac will not stop true justice in the long run and all the marginalizing of these events in your mind will not change the truth - MS engaged in pernicious practices to stop WP and Novell from cornering the majority of the word processing industry.


I am certainly glad I wasn't on that jury. Intelligent, engaged posters on this site can't agree on this issue, but I enjoy reading the different views. I don't think the holdout should be in the spotlight as a hero, if he is truly after justice. He won, but should soldier on quietly.

Saint George, UT

"Just sayin. More times than not, when one person out of 12 sees something differently than the other 11, that one person is wrong."

In this case the subject was money. In other cases it can mean a persons life.
If you have never seen it I would recommend an old black and white movie with the title of TWELVE ANGRY MEN. In the movie the 12th man (played by Henry Fonda) is not convinced by the evidence presented. He holds out and holds out until every questionable point has been established. His position ultimately changes the opinions of the other eleven jurors, breaking through their personal biases and desire for a quick verdict to get on with their lives. The result was an innocent young man was not sentenced to death.

If such was the motivation of this "hold-out" then we will thank God (especially if we are the wrongfully accused)for such principled fellow citizens.

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